It’s important to note that having a beautifully styled vignette, nook, shelf, or mantle doesn’t need to break the bank. Everything seen above (except the planter) is thrifted. Literally everything.
Certainly, I invest in statement pieces. An example of this is our bed , couch, or our favorite affordable rug that looks good in any room anywhere. I splurge here sometimes because these pieces often act as a foundation to a room. So getting em’ right can pay off big. But still, when the time comes to style and infuse your space with character and charm don’t feel like you have to get everything from a big box store or expensive boutique.
Ya see, I think the best homes have beautiful things that are lived in. You would be shocked at what you can find at your local thrift store or swap meet. My oil painting and vintage chair were both only $15 dollars one having been from a thrift store and the other a garage sale. Cool right?
As such let me share with you just a few, pro-tips on how I thrift to maximize your efforts when hitting the local thrift. Let’s dive in:
- Keep a list – I always have a notepad of the items on my phone – along with the basic measurements. That means length width and height guys. I believe that I am going to remember when I am in the store and almost always forget. You don’t want to fall in love with a bench and realize it’s the wrong size too late. Worse, leave to go home and check only to return and see it was sold.
- Need Vs. Want – To point one, be clear with yourself about what you need to complete a space or project, versus what you just would like to have. It will help if you end up in a situation where you have an overflowing cart, or are over budget. It’s good to be able to say, “I need a kitchen chair, versus I want a brass candlestick.”
- Timing – Go early! I guarantee if you show up at opening versus mid-afternoon you will have a better selection of goods to score from. Also, know when shipments and shelves are stocked. Plan your trips around those days. Finally, lots of thrift stores have daily deals and email lists for discounts. Get on those and plan accordingly. There is nothing like a sale on top of a sale. You got this!
- Plan I always do one fast scan of the store when I first arrive and my iced coffee is flowing – I quickly grab anything that catches my eye. I do this in 5-10 minutes, then make a slower more strategic lap back down each aisle of interest afterwards. You can always put something back (and you should) Note, that I always start in the art section first. Good pieces go fast. I have had to learn this the hard way.
- Art – Speaking of art. Remember that it’s often the frame that sells the piece. If the art isn’t great you can swap it out for a print or other piece. Fore more on this check out this post to see how I transform thrifted frames + art into stunning gallery walls on the cheap. When selecting art and frames just use a bit of imagination. The same is true for vintage books. Grab em if they look good, who cares if the topic is about gardening.
- Material – For me, I look for high-end materials that get thrown in with “junk.” brass, walnut, stone, and linen. Try to imagine what these pieces will look like incorporated into your desired space. Hold it, close your eyes, and see it. If it speaks to you and the price is right. Grab it.
- Final Decisions – Okay, this is my best tip. Once you have made your lap. Sit in a quiet area alone for a few minutes. Let the adrenaline slow and now practically think through each and every single item. Take your time. If it’s not a slam dunk then leave it. Certain items will surface up as big wins. Get those first.
There you have it my friends. Thrifting is one of my favorite pas times and I hope these quick tips are useful for you. There are of course, a ton more, but this should help you get started on your journey to becoming an expert thrifter. For more tips on thrifting stay tuned to the blog and our stories on instagram. You can also see a few more views of some of my favorite thrifted treasures in the carousel above. Happy thrifting y’all!